On breastfeeding and jaundice

Aiman was detected with jaundice (SB 200) when he was 3 days old and he loses his weight excessively from 3.4kg to 3.0kg within that short period of time (Info: normal weight loss for a newborn should be no more than 10% in the first week of life). It was so bad that Aiman needs to be re-admitted back to the hospital for phototherapy treatment, on the fact that his jaundice was just at the beginning and expected to increase in the next few days before it begins to dissapear.

But instead of leaving my baby alone under the supervision of PMC nurses, I decided to readmit myself too so that I can breastfeed my baby at all time and most importantly, because I didn't want them to formula feed Aiman Haris. Little did I know that the nightmare has just begun.

First, on managing the pains. It was a hard time when I need to take care a jaundice baby that need to be fed as frequent as possible while trying to tolerate the contractions pain, sore nipples, engorgement and stitches down there. Tak cukup tidur tu tak payah ceritalah kan?

Second, on supplementing him with formula. This is something that against my wishes but paedatrician instructed me to give him 2oz top up after each feeding, in a way to give more fluids which helps to improve his bowel movement and bring down the bilirubin down more quickly. At that point of time, I have no other choice but to say yes but on one condition. I will first breastfeed him 20 minutes on each breast and formula can only be given if he seems unsettled and unsatisfied. But if he sleeps well after the 40 minutes breastfeeding session and settle well under the phototherapy light, then no formula should be offered to him at all. Plus, formula feed should be done using a cup and strictly no bottle feeding. *So yer, I jadi macam mak tiri sekejap masa tuh* I have to, otherwise my breastfeeding plan will go haywire. =P

It was so kesian to see my tiny little baby all wrapped up and slept under the warm blue light for 24 hours a day but alhamdulillah, after having oi-tak-best-gila 3 days stay in PMC, his bilirubin level was low enough that the doctor said, "Aiman boleh balik hari ni" :) Yeayy!!

But again, upon discharged, doctor gave me a small can of Enfalac HA that I need to feed my baby as a supplement to my not-so-much breastmilk. Jaundice had gone down, but we still need to help Aiman gaining his weight back to his birth weight or good if it's more. So iyolah, kalau susu nan ado, macam mana anak mak nak naik berat?

Well, everyone else is saying my breastmilk is sikit termasuk makcik urut. "Ni kalau orang banyak susu, tekan sikit dah memancut dah. Shila ni takde pulak gitu ye". I just nodded and smile politely. Tidak apa, anggapkan masuk telinga kanan keluar telinga kiri. To me, BREASTFEEDING IS A CONFIDENCE GAME.

Aiman is the master here. He's like, "I'm small but I'm the boss". I don't stick to any feeding schedule because we both are working on demand and supply rule. That means I will nurse him as often as required by Aiman Haris and will wake him up if he sleeps more than 2 or 2.5 hours. I don't mind if people ask me whether or not my breastmilk that I'm producing is a lot, because all that I know Aiman is drinking the amount that enough to keep him up. So long that he has 6-8 wet diapers with pale or water-colored urine (enough hydration) and 2-3 or more seedy stools everyday and he seems content after each feeding, I know that my baby is getting enough milk. Plus, I do direct feeding and no bottle feeding yet.

Today, I'm glad that the small can given by the doctor is remained unopen and for trusting myself and follow my gut instinct that I can do it this time. Guess what? Aiman is now weighing at 3.8kg and that healthy weight gain came solely from my breastmilk! and not a single drop of formula as given by doctor. But true enough, breastfeeding is such a challenging journey. Mencabar minda jiwa raga otak badan semualah!

I will share more on my breastfeeding journey in later entry, the ups and downs that I faced since last two weeks. How that I managed to stock up my 40oz EBM (sikit tapi untuk I banyak lah tuh) when I only have an average of 1.5oz per pumping session (both breasts!) What most important here, hati kena gigih. +P Tapi penat jugak doh. Semoga saya berjayalah kali ini. *lap peluh*

Till then, here the bahan bukti to keep myself up and steady that I have enough breastmilk for my baby. Monster susu!


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